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March 22, 2017

Who is Responsible in an Uber Car Accident?

Car Accident Lawyers in PA

Popular ridesharing companies like Uber1 and Lyft have been taking the transportation industry by storm and giving taxicab companies a run for their money. Over the past several years, Uber has quickly surpassed cab companies in urban areas, such as Philadelphia, for safety, cleanliness, convenience, and affordability. When riders download the Uber App onto their iPhone or smart device, they can request and pay for rides and keep track of their requested driver’s location at all times.

Because several potential individuals, companies, and insurance companies are in potentially involved, Uber car accident cases can be extremely complex. If you have been injured in a car accident involving an Uber ride vehicle, our experienced Philadelphia Uber accident lawyers can help. Our experienced attorneys can discuss the facts and circumstances of your case with you and can file claims against all necessary parties on your behalf, helping to maximize your potential recovery.

Employees versus Independent Contractors

Although Uber requires its drivers to undergo thorough background checks and carry their own motor vehicle insurance, Uber drivers are not employees of Uber. Rather, they are independent contractors. The difference between an employee and an independent contractor largely rests with the amount of control the company has over the worker, whether the worker sets his or her own schedule, and how the worker is paid (e.g., salary versus contract work). In the world of personal injury lawsuits, this distinction can make a significant difference.

In past cases, Uber has tried to distance itself from its drivers when they behave negligently behind the wheel or are deemed ‘at-fault’ for a motor vehicle accident. However, more recent cases have shown that Uber can share in the liability.2

Responsible Parties

In cases of motor vehicle accidents involving negligent Uber drivers, the following parties could potentially share in the liability:

  • The Uber driver
  • Uber – the company
  • The insurance company

An experienced Philadelphia Uber accident lawyer will typically file suit against all of these parties in order to safeguard liability and maximize the potential recovery in the case. However, each of these entities will attempt to have an injured plaintiff sign an agreement that potentially limits settlement and/or prohibits the injured plaintiff from taking further legal action. An injured plaintiff should never sign such an agreement (at least without first consulting with a lawyer), as he or she could potentially lose thousands of dollars in recovery and/or monetary damages.

In terms of Uber’s direct liability, the following Uber policy limits apply:

50/100/25 of contingent coverage by Uber in-between fares (i.e. contingent to a driver’s personal automobile insurance policy and paid only if the personal automobile insurance policy refuses to pay, or pays nothing

$1 million of uninsured/underinsured motorist benefits per accident (rather than per person), providing coverage for Uber passengers who are injured when another driver causes a collision or other type of accident

$1 million of liability coverage per accident (divided into bodily injury and property damage liability)

How Much is Your Uber Accident Case Worth?

Many people who are injured in Uber accidents are anxious to find out how much their case is worth. Unfortunately, there is no way to determine how much a case is worth without conducting a thorough analysis of all of the facts, and any estimate is merely speculation until the case actually settles or a judge or jury make an award. That being said, it is helpful to consider the kinds of damages that are available in most car accident cases. These tend to include medical expenses, lost income, property damage, and physical and emotional pain and suffering. Because Uber customers are passengers, however, it is unlikely that they will be entitled to any compensation for property damage unless they were carrying valuable possessions at the time that the accident occurred

Some of the factors that can affect the amount of the settlement or award your receive after an Uber accident include the following:

  • Your occupation
  • The severity of your injuries
  • Your age
  • Your prognosis
  • Whether you were partially at fault for your accident

Contact a Philadelphia Uber Accident Lawyer Today to Discuss Your Case

If you have been injured in a car accident where Uber is involved, you need experienced legal representation. You should know that Uber has a veritable army of attorneys and lobbyists at its disposal who will use all legal means necessary to limit – or eliminate – Uber’s potential liability exposure.

Our experienced Uber accident lawyers are ready and willing to represent you throughout your case. To schedule a free consultation with a Philadelphia Uber accident lawyer, call our office today at 215-825-5183 or contact us online.

1 https://www.uber.com

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